Newsletter Articles



By Eric Carlson on May 1, 2024

Jeremiah 22:13. “Woe to him who builds his palace unfairly (Lo Tzadak: Unrighteousness), its upper rooms by injustice (Lo Mishpat; injustice, no ordinances, no Torah, wrongfully) who makes his neighbor work for free and will not give him his wages;

Jeremiah is rebuking King Jehoiakim for failing rule with justice, to act justly on behalf of his subjects. Jehoiakim’s Father was King Josiah who served the Lord whole heatedly, restored covenant worship of God to Judah and upheld the rights of the people. Neco II, king of Egypt attacked Judah and killed King Josiah in 608 BC. Jehoiakim’s younger brother Jehoahaz became King of Judah but was removed after three months by Neco II who took him to Egypt where he died. Jehoiakim was a sympathizer with Egypt and ruled as a vassal of Egypt.

Contemporary historians (Jewish Encyclopedia) of this time period describe Jehoiakim as a godless tyrant who committed atrocious sins and crimes. He is reported to have had incestuous relations with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother (which was common practice in Egypt). He was reported to have murdered men whose wives he would sexually violate then seize the murdered man’s property. It’s also recorded that he had tattooed most of his body.

Leviticus 19:28. Don’t cut gashes in your flesh when someone dies or tattoo (uchtovet ka’aka; uchtovet: imprint, engrave, inscription, mark. ka’aka: tattoo the flesh, mark the body through colored incisions) I am ADONAI.

I know tattooing has become wildly popular among younger people and Christians but so has homosexuality, same sex marriage, and a various host of others wickedness and sin. Jeremiah reveals that we cannot build our home, our household, our family upon unrighteousness and injustice (without Torah). Our legal system ironically is based upon justice. Justice is defined as the administration of law; especially the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity, the principle of just dealing or right action, conformity to the principle or ideal of righteousness.

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. Adonai never promised to be fair. The world isn’t fair, life isn’t fair, work isn’t fair, school isn’t fair, the government isn’t fair so the sooner we teach our children this kingdom principle the stronger they will become. God doesn’t promise to be fair, He promises to be just, to act and judge according to His own word, to deal justly, according to our righteousness!

Deuteronomy 16:20. Justice, only justice, you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land ADONAI your God is giving you.

This is where many believers error, where they become deceived by counterfeit grace. So many have been taught (for a long time now) that they can do whatever they desire, that they can fulfill the desires of their flesh because they are saved by grace thereby, they can act and do whatever they desire. That is a lie straight from the pits of hell. You’re not saved by grace; you’re saved by the blood of Yeshua’s sacrifice.

Luke 22:20. He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.

It was Grace, an unmerited award, that Yeshua shed His blood for you and died while you were yet in sin. It was grace that Yeshua did this when you didn’t deserve it. Sha’ul said this is the message:

I Corinthians 1:18. For the message about the execution-stake is nonsense to those in the process of being destroyed, but to us in the process of being saved it is the power of God.

Salvation is a process, not a onetime prayer! That process is walking out our conformity and submission to God’s ordnances, rulings, mitzvah’s, teachings, and commands. Sha’ul said in:

Romans 1:5. Through him we received grace and were given the work of being an emissary on his behalf promoting trust-grounded obedience among all the Gentiles,

Jeremiah said Woe to those who would build their house, their family upon unrighteousness, without Torah, unjustly. Injustices cannot be covered up! Injustices must be dealt with! But injustice must be dealt with according to God’s righteousness. King David gives two profound examples of dealing with and not dealing with injustice.

David was one of the greatest kings of Israel. He was a great warrior, poet, psalmist, and worshipper. A man after God’s own heart, David’s first weapon was the harp! The story of David’s affair with Bath-Sheba is probably his most well-known story after the story of Goliath. (One ah man ruins a thousand atta boys). When confronted with his wickedness, with his sin he quickly took it before the Lord and repented but was still punished for his sin, the sword would never leave his house! Repenting is what made him different from his predecessor King Saul who failed to do so!

We then see Y’hoshua errored and made covenant with the Gibeonite’s who had deceived Israel in thinking that they had travelled a great distance seeking Asylum. Joshua didn’t consult God, he acted upon circumstantial evidence which isn’t always the truth.

Joshua 9:14-15. The men sampled some of their food but didn’t seek the advice of ADONAI, 15 so Y’hoshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them to spare their lives, and the leading officials of the community swore to them.

When Israel discovered they had been tricked, they agreed not to destroy the Gibeonite’s because they had made a covenant. Instead, the Gibeonite’s would be Israel slaves forever. Centuries later King Saul broke that convent causing an outbreak of famine in King David’s time:

II Samuel 21:1-6. In David’s time there was a famine that lasted three years, and David consulted ADONAI. ADONAI said, “It is because of Sha’ul and his bloodstained house, because he put to death the people of Giv’on.” 2 The king summoned the Giv’onim and said to them – these Giv’onim were not part of the people of Isra’el but from the remnant of the Emori; and the people of Isra’el had sworn to them; but Sha’ul, in his zeal for the people of Isra’el and Y’hudah, had sought to exterminate them – 3 David said to the Giv’onim, “What should I do for you? With what should I make atonement, so that you will be able to bless ADONAI’s heritage?” 4 The Giv’onim said to him, “Our dispute with Sha’ul can’t be resolved with silver or gold; and we don’t have the right to put anyone in Isra’el to death.” He said, “So, what do you say that I should do for you?” 5 They answered the king, “The man who ruined us, who schemed against us so that we would cease to exist anywhere in Isra’el’s territory – 6 have seven of his male descendants handed over to us, and we will put them to death by hanging before ADONAI in Giv’ah of Sha’ul, whom ADONAI chose.” The king said, “I will hand them over.”

This ended the curse. America has its own Gibeonites, The First Nations people or American Indians. Every treaty, every covenant agreement ever made with them has been broken. Every one! Over 35 tribes were forcibly removed from their ancestral tribal grounds or reservation lands after making peace with the American government and placed onto the Oklahoma territory. Have you noticed the last few years that Oklahoma is constantly in the news, from record sized tornados, to earthquakes, to record prairie fires to flooding-famine! Like the Gibeonites, we must resolve this broken covenant, or the south-central plains will become unlivable!

David gives another example of an injustice that was handled incorrectly causing significantly more problems for his kingdom than his affair with Bath-Sheba. It almost resulted in the loss of his kingdom and throne, forever! Amnon was David’s eldest son and first in line for the throne. Amnon incestuously fell in love with his sister Tamar with bad results:

II Samuel 13:2-15. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he became ill, for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it would be impossible to approach her. 3 But Amnon had a friend named Yonadav the son of Shim’ah David’s brother; and Yonadav was a very shrewd (chakam {khaw-kawm’}: wise, shrewd, crafty, cunning, wily) fellow. 4 He asked him, “Why, son of the king, are you growing thinner every day? Won’t you tell me?”Amnon answered him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Avshalom’s sister.” 5 Yonadav said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the food where I can watch. I’ll eat what she serves me.” 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended he was sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes here where I can watch, and I’ll eat what she serves me.” 7 David sent this instruction home to Tamar: “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare him some food.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes. 9 Then she took the pan and turned them out in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me”; and everyone left him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, so that I can have you serve me. Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near, so that he could eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come to bed (shikh’viy: to lay with sexually, sexual connection) with me, my sister.” 12 “No, my brother,” she answered him, “don’t force me! Things like this aren’t done in Isra’el; don’t behave so disgracefully! 13 Where could I go with such shame? And as for you, you will be regarded as one of Isra’el’s vulgar brutes. Now therefore, please! Speak to the king, because he won’t keep me from you.” 14 However, he wouldn’t listen to her; and since he was stronger than she, he overpowered her and raped her. 15 But then he was filled with utter revulsion for her – his hatred of her was even greater than the love he had had for her before. Amnon said to her, “Get up, and get out of here!”

Amnon acted unjustly, wickedly, he was unrighteous before Adonai. As soon as he fulfilled his lustful desire his sin confronts him, his revulsion is a two-edged sword, both of himself and the sin he has committed! To act unrighteous before the Lord is to disobey Him. That’s what Amnon did, he directly disobeyed God:

Leviticus 18:9-11. You are not to have sexual relations with your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere. Do not have sexual relations with them. 10 You are not to have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or with your daughter’s daughter. Do not have sexual relations with them, because their sexual disgrace will be your own. 11 You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s wife’s daughter, born to your father, because she is your sister; do not have sexual relations with her.

Remember, to act unjustly is to act without Torah. No term Stepsister used in scripture! No stepfamily recorded in Scripture, Tamar was his sister! When King David heard about this and “he was very angry”

II Samuel 13:21. When King David heard about all these things, he became very angry.

King David though angry, did not punish or even rebuke his son for defiling his sister, committing rape and incest. Instead, a cover up ensues:

II Samuel 13:19-20. Tamar put ashes on her head, tore her long-sleeved robe that she was wearing, laid her hand on her head and went off, crying aloud as she went. 20 Avshalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now, my sister, keep quiet; because he’s your brother. Don’t take the matter to heart.” But Tamar remained desolate (shamem {shaw-mame’}: desolate, in shame, ravaged, in horror, appalled) in her brother Avshalom’s house.

Absalom, Tamar’s brother, was furious at what Amnon had done and for his father’s lack of punishment, justice wasn’t served. Absalom festered and dwelled upon the injustice for two years. Day by day he grew angrier and angrier, waiting, plotting, seeking vengeance which is yet another sin. Sin begets sin which begets sin:

II Samuel 13:22-23. As for Avshalom, he refused to say a word to Amnon, either good or bad; for Avshalom hated Amnon for having raped his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later, when Avshalom had sheep-shearers in Ba’al-Hatzor, near Efrayim, Avshalom invited all the king’s sons.

Avshalom pressed King David who refused to go to this sheep shearing gathering but gave his blessing for his sons except for Amnon but:

II Samuel 13:27-29. But Avshalom kept pressing him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Avshalom ordered his servants, “Pay close attention: when Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine, and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ then strike him down. Don’t be afraid – I’m the one ordering you to do it – but take courage, and be bold.” 29 Avshalom’s servants did to Amnon as Avshalom had ordered. At this, all the king’s sons jumped up, mounted their mules and fled.

Avshalom only killed Amnon the rapist, not all the Kings sons as was initially reported to King David. The King wept and mourned the loss of Amnon. Meanwhile Avshalom, now a murderer fled to his grandfather in Geshur. He stayed there for three years. And incredibly, in all this time King David did nothing, five years have passed since Tamar’s rape. Instead, David pined for Avshalom:

II Samuel 13:39. But as King David became reconciled (nacham {naw-kham’}: console oneself, comforted, ease oneself) to the death of his son Amnon, he was increasingly filled with longing to see Avshalom.

What’s happening here? David became comfortable with this injustice, he accepted it, he became reconciled to the murder of his son and the rape of His daughter! Absalom became so disenchanted, so disgusted with his father’s inaction and refusal to render Justice that he began dispensing justice himself:

II Samuel 15:2-6. He would get up early and stand by the road leading to the city gate; and if someone had a case that was to come before the king for judgment, Avshalom would call to him and ask, “What city are you from?” and he would answer, “Your servant is from the such-and-such tribe in Isra’el.” 3 Avshalom would say to him, “Look, your cause is good and just; but the king hasn’t deputized anyone to hear your case.” 4 Then Avshalom would continue, “Now if I were made judge in the land, anyone with a suit or other cause could come to me, and I would see that he gets justice!” 5 Moreover, whenever any man came close to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 This is how Avshalom behaved toward anyone in Isra’el who came to the king for judgment, and in this way Avshalom stole the hearts of the people of Isra’el.

What is Avshalom offering? Verse 4 says justice! When injustice prevails, injustice prevails! Avshalom hated and resented his father David, even refusing to come before the Kings throne to be reconciled to his father when ordered. This stewing hatred results in Avshalom rebelling against David, forcing his father from the throne and into exile. Then, in a great irony which is how generational curses work, Avshalom does to David’s wives and what Amnon did to Tamar and what David did to Bath Sheba via more poor advice:

II Samuel 16:20-22. Avshalom said to Achitofel, “Give your advice as to what we should do.” 21 Achitofel answered Avshalom, “Go in, and sleep with your father’s concubines, the ones he left to take care of the palace. All Isra’el will hear that your father utterly despises you, and this will strengthen the position of all those who are on your side.” 22 So they set up a tent for Avshalom on the roof of the palace; and Avshalom went in to sleep with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Isra’el.

Injustice turned into generational curses. David ultimately defeated Absalom, but at a great cost in human lives, 20,000 Israelites would perish. This horrid story reveals what happens when injustices are covered up rather than dealt with honestly. Had David dealt with the injustice in a righteous manner and punished Amnon for what he did to Tamar, Absalom might not have felt the need to take vengeance. He most likely he would not have lost respect for his father and raped his father’s concubines.

Injustice cannot and must not be ignored in your own life, the lives of those around us, and in our world. Stand up for those suffering injustice. If you’ve suffered injustice don’t sin in your anger. You must give up your right to be wronged.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Dr. M.L. King

Israel has been suffering injustice since the horrific attack on October 7th 2023. We must stand up for Israel, stand against hatred, racism, anti-Semitism! Isaiah 42 contains a messianic prophecy that is recorded in Matthew 12 regarding Yeshua and Justice:

Matthew 12:18-20. “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will announce justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not fight or shout, no one will hear his voice in the streets; 20 he will not snap off a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick until he has brought justice through to victory.

It’s hard to imagine but many people don’t want justice, they don’t want to hear the truth. Life changed in Israel on October 7th, 2023. The unprecedented, unexpected, and overwhelming assault by at least 1,500 Hamas fighters, pouring into Israel by land, sea and even paragliders, raping, torturing, killing over 1,200 men, women, children, and infants. More than 250 people were taken hostage and moved to Hamas’ Gaza stronghold.

Much has happened in the six months since. The massacres at a music festival in the desert and kibbutz communities prompted Israel to declare war on Hamas, leading to air and ground attacks that have devastated Gaza and the lives of the more than two million people for whom it is home. Yet the world condemns Israel, a sovereign democratic government (The only one in the Middle East), for defending herself and her citizens! God is sovereign, justice for Israel will prevail! Israel is the apple of God’s eye! Am Yisrael Chai עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi Eric S Carlson